In the early days of the salmon farming industry the feed consisted of mainly fish oil and fish meal produced from wild caught fish stocks. Today, most of the feed consists of plant-based ingredients such as soy, rapeseed and wheat and only a small share of marine ingredients.
This development has been important for the industry, and a lot of work has been done to reduce the dependency of fish meal and fish oil, formerly known as “the fish meal trap”. Fish meal and fish oil from wild caught stocks is a limited resource and cannot meet the demand for feed ingredients for aquaculture.
At the same time there are also challenges in using plant- based ingredients. Marine ingredients is the most natural choice for the fish, and many of the plant-based ingredients has their own challenges to deal with, ranging from deforestation and land use change to erosion and limited freshwater resources.
We want to contribute to develop and test new feed ingredients. We therefore acquired the company Norsk Marin Fisk AS which through its subsidiary Nordfjord Forsøksstasjon AS work on precisely this matter, research and development on new feed ingredients in cooperation with the Norwegian Veterinary Institute and NMBU.
One of the challenges with plant-based ingredients is that these may impact the intestinal health of the farmed salmon negatively. Nordfjord Forsøksstasjon are testing different feed ingredients to discover potential changes in intestinal health, growth rate, feed conversion, lice levels and mortality. The feed ingredients being tested now are different amounts of fermented plant-based ingredients, insect meal and meal from macro algae.
I 2021 our research station on Isane will also be equipped with its own laboratory in cooperation with the foundation Måløy Marine Resource Center. The site will also we equipped with a modern fish farm with integrated feed barge.
Nordfjord Forsøksstasjon recently hired their own PhD candidate, Linn Haug Eide. Linn is from Osmundsvåg in Nordfjord and will work on our feed research while writing her PhD at NMBU.